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Diplomatic - September 7, 2021

Evaly now wants foreign funds

Staff Correspondent:Hours after Jamuna Group’s announcement of ditching plan to invest in Evaly, the e-commerce platform’s Chief Executive Officer Mohammad Rassel said they are looking for foreign investments.
“I will not make any comment on Jamuna Group’s decision. We are continuously trying to attract new investments,” Mohammad Rassel told media.
He further said, “We hope to get investment as Evaly has regular business transactions. We talked with different local companies for investments in the past and will keep trying.”
“Now we are trying to get any foreign investments,” Rassel added.
Earlier in the day, Jamuna Group announced their decision of not investing in the controversial e-commerce platform citing Evaly’s current liabilities and business policy.
Jamuna Group Director (Marketing, Sales and Operations) Mohammad Alamgir Alam in a Facebook post said, “Jamuna Group was interested to invest initially after Evaly invited us. But after scrutinising their liabilities, business strategy, and sales and marketing policy, now we are withdrawing our decision on investing in the ecommerce platform.”
On 26 August, Monika Nazneen Islam, group director of Jamuna Group, told The Business Standard, “Jamuna Group has not decided yet on investing in controversial e-commerce platform Evaly.”
“We signed a memorandum of understanding with Evaly earlier. We still have some times in hand to decide on the deal. Our audit and accounts departments are looking into Evaly’s financial statements and other related documents. We will issue an official statement on the matter after completing the audit,” she said.
Earlier, on 28 July, in a Facebook post, Evaly’s Mohammad Rassel announced that Jamuna Group is going to invest Tk1,000 crore in the e-commerce platform, which is under investigation over alleged embezzlement of Tk338 crore it took in advance from customers and owes to merchants.
Later, in reply to a show cause notice by the Commerce Ministry, Evaly informed that they owe Tk311 crore to customers and Tk206 crore to the merchants.
If all the assets are sold, the company will be able to clear only 22% of its debts. The remaining more than Tk422 crore will stand as deficit. In the balance sheet of the company submitted to the commerce ministry on 26 August, Evaly has shown Tk422.62 crore, close to the deficit, as the brand value of the company.
But experts say otherwise.
Dhaka University Marketing Department Chairman Professor Mizanur Rahman told The Business Standard that the actual brand value of Evaly was negative, because the business model the company was following was not sustainable.
On the contrary, with the huge amount of liability that Evaly has created in just two years, it is not possible for the company to generate any assets in the future.
Evaly got the money in advance payments by luring people with heavy discounts on products on its site and promising delivery in 7-45 days. Buyers, however, are yet to receive the items they ordered.
And the refund cheques given to customers have bounced because of an insufficient fund in Evaly’s bank account.
Meanwhile, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has written to several government organisations seeking related documents on Evaly.
Besides, a Dhaka court also imposed a travel ban on Mohammad Rassel, the managing director of Evaly, and his wife Shamima Nasrin, also the chairman of the company, from travelling abroad amid an ongoing probe into charges of embezzlement against the e-commerce company.

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